I had my court date for my speeding ticket this evening. I’ve never actually been to court before, which as a former legal news reporter seems a little odd. But it’s true. I just covered appellate cases and large verdicts after they were handed down.
But I procrastinated mailing in my ticket (truth – I really didn’t want the city government to have my money until they had to.) Also, I had called my insurance agent to find out if this ticket would cause a ding on my record. Because I told him I was going 42 in a 35, he said I should be ok. No need to double the fine. I figured I would just show up and pay the flat fee and be done with it.
And well, let’s just say that didn’t happen.
What did happen was I got in my car, turned the ignition and nothing happened.
Nothing as in my frickin’ car was dead as a doornail. Oh, but the AC and radio would turn on (as if bad mix radio and a blast of cold air would help me get to court on time.) The hope that it was just my battery and it would all be ok with a jump fizzled just as soon as I heard Katie Perry whine about being hung over in Vegas. Stupid girl, you put your money where your mouth is and shut up! I thought as I yanked the key out of my ignition.
Luckily I have the most amazing fiance ever who came and got me in time to take me to my court date. Awww, isn’t that romantic?
Judge or prosecutor?
Um, how about car mechanic, I thought when the clerk asked me my plan of action. I mean really, how can they make me pay this when it’s very clear I’m not going to be speeding anywhere soon. I don’t even run a sub 10 minute mile!
The longer we sat there (and it took a while) the more I started to get mad that the city of Mission was taking my money – money I would now need to get my car towed and probably a new starter put in my car.
I mean it’s not like I was going very fast. And it was down a big hill. And I was on the phone with someone very important at the time telling him very important things, I’m sure.
I mean what if I just started charging people money for breaking my rules? Take the tourists on the Plaza who walk in big groups on the sidewalk when I’m trying to run with Gertie. I politely tell them I am coming up behind them on their left and they suddenly act like they don’t know how to walk. Some move to the right some to the left and some just freeze, so then we have to dodge them (It’s usually up a hill) while Gertie is trying to lick their children and snag a belly rub. I think they should have to pay up.
I know the city has expenses, but so do I. I have some very important car maintenance issues to tend to, a future move to fund and a wedding.
Finally it was my turn and the prosecutor (who looked so young that I might have been his babysitter in high school) asked me if I wanted to double up to get it off my record.
No, I said arrogantly. I wasn’t doing more than 10 miles over so it won’t hurt my insurance.
But it says here you were doing 42 in a 30.
Let me see that! I fished my copy of the ticket out of my huge handbag and tried to prove the kid wrong. The fiance was peering over my shoulder.
Yup, babe – 42 in a 30, he said as he pointed to the manwriting on the document.There was no way I could double it without knowing what my car was going to cost me.
Before I knew it, the fiance had his credit card out and the fine had been doubled to no more than a $220 parking violation.
Humbled, carless and broker than I yet know, I won’t be speeding anytime soon.
But I will probably run down the aisle. (If I can make it to the church.)